A project helping to alleviate fuel poverty in Orkney and a wildlife reserve in the Highlands were among the winners at Scottish Renewable’s flagship award ceremony.
More than 700 people tuned in to this year’s Scottish Green Energy Awards, which was held virtually for the first time in its history, to recognise the industry’s achievements during what was described as a “very challenging” year.
A total shortlist of 46 was whittled down by 12 judges, with 12 awards up for grabs on the night.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes delivered the keynote address, in which she highlighted the role green energy will play in Scotland’s recovery, while Conservative MP for Banff & Buchan, David Duguid presented the Sustainable Development Award.
Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said the shortlist underlined the “phenomenal skillset” of the renewable energy industry north of the border.
The Best Community Project Award went to Heat Smart Orkney for using excess electricity from community-owned wind to provide affordable heat for the community.
Alladale Wilderness Reserve in Sutherland picked up the Sustainable Development Award for its commitment to reducing carbon emissions by growing food in a hydro-powered aquaponics vegetable garden.
SIMEC Atlantis Energy scooped the Champion of Renewables Award for its work on the expansion of the MyGen project in the Pentland Firth, as well as for efforts to create a sustainable tidal industry in Scotland.
In a double win for the Edinburgh-headquartered company, chief executive Tim Cornelius also picked up the Outstanding Contribution Award.
The Young & Inspiring Award was won by James Ferguson of the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre.
The Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Exeter and the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences, which is located in Oban, went home with the Contribution to Skills Award for the Industrial CDT in Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE) programme.
The full list of winners were:
Best community Project Award, sponsored by Scottish National Investment Bank: Heat Smart Orkney Ltd for Heat Smart Orkney Project
Best Engagement Award, sponsored by SmartestEnergy: North Uist Development Company for UistWind
Best Innovation Award, sponsored by Red Rock Power: Rovco for SubSLAM X2
Carbon Reduction Award, sponsored by Statkraft: Renewable Parts
Champion of Renewables Award, sponsored by National Grid ESO: SIMEC Atlantis
Contribution to Skills Award, sponsored by SSE Renewables: The Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Exeter and the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences
Outstanding Project Award, sponsored by RWE Renewables: SWARCO and Boyd Brothers (Fauldhouse) Ltd for Dundee’s Princes Street
Outstanding Service Award, sponsored by Green Investment Group: RES Operations Team
Positive Improvement Award, sponsored by Natural Power: SafetyOn / RenewableUK for Industry Guidance
Sustainable Development Award: Alladale Wilderness Reserve
Young & Inspiring Award, sponsored by WSP: James Ferguson, European Marine Energy Centre and IDCORE
Outstanding Contribution Award, sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise: Tim Cornelius, SIMEC Atlantis Energy
Judges Award, sponsored by Ocean Winds: MacArthur Green
Ms Mack said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to come together online as an industry to celebrate this year’s Scottish Green Energy Awards.
“Once again, those shortlisted really do showcase the truly incredible talent, passion and innovation of those working in our industry.
“In a year which has been so very challenging, the renewable energy sector has played a critical role in ensuring that Scotland’s lights have been kept on throughout the global pandemic.
“The diverse range of projects shortlisted at this year’s awards really do highlight why Scotland is a world leader in renewable energy.
“As we continue the fight against climate change we’re going to need everyone and everything we’ve got, and the phenomenal skillset and innovation of those recognised tonight really does show we have what it takes.
“The Scottish Green Energy Awards are an incredible celebration of the inspirational organisations, people and projects who are making real difference to the health, wealth and wellbeing of Scotland. My congratulations go to all off this year’s nominees, and of course winners.”
Matthieu Hue, chief executive of EDF Renewables, which was headline-sponsor for the awards, said: “It has been great to see everyone online for this year’s awards and my congratulations goes to all the very worthy winners and of course the runners up, I’m sure the judges had some tough choices to make.
“It has been a tough year for everyone yet as an industry it is clear we are continuing to work hard to progress towards the net-zero goal.
“Let’s hope by this time next year we can all celebrate another successful year in person!”